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Saturday, November 27, 2004



[ HAWAII 72, COASTAL CAROLINA 65 ]


art
FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii's Jeff Blackett put up a bucket for two of his 22 points in last night's victory over Coastal Carolina. After scoring just two points in the first half, Blackett shot 8-for-9 from the field and scored 20 points in the second half to help the Rainbow Warriors rally. He also grabbed eight rebounds for the 'Bows.


’Bows rally
for victory

Hawaii coach Riley Wallace gets
his 300th win after watching
his team trail by 22 points
in the second half

Hawaii basketball coach Riley Wallace's 300th career win will be one to remember.

The Rainbow Warriors erased a 22-point second-half deficit to storm past Coastal Carolina 72-65 last night at the Stan Sheriff Center.

UH forward Jeff Blackett and guard Bobby Nash, who scored two points between them in the first half, sparked the rally by combining for 32 after the break as the Rainbows outscored Coastal Carolina 40-11 over the final 14 minutes to erase a 54-32 deficit.

"That's the hardest fight for 300 anyone could get," Wallace said.

Blackett hit eight of nine shots from the field in the second half and finished with 22 points, while Nash hit four 3-pointers for all 12 of his points. Forward Julian Sensley added 13 points to go along with eight rebounds and eight assists and center Chris Botez scored 11 points. Guard Matt Gibson sparked UH defensively with five steals.

"It just showed what we're able to do; that shows this team has a huge heart," Sensley said. "It's rare for somebody to come back from 20 points behind and win by seven. It just shows what kind of character this team has."

The Rainbows improved to 2-0 heading into Monday's "Black Out" game against Southern Illinois. Coastal Carolina has lost the first four of a season-opening five-game road trip that ends tomorrow at Chaminade.

The win before 5,085 fans at the Sheriff Center was the 300th NCAA Division I victory for Wallace. He began his career with 15 wins at Centenary and has 285 in 17-plus seasons at Hawaii.


art
FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Coastal Carolina's Jack Leasure drove around Hawaii's Chris Botez in the first half last night.


Coastal Carolina, which held a 54-32 advantage with 14:17 left in the game, was led by guard Jack Leasure's 22 points. The freshman hit six of 11 3-pointers in the game. Guard Pele Paelay scored 21 for Coastal.

"We struggled to communicate with each other in the second half because the fans were so vociferous," Coastal Carolina coach Pete Strickland said.

"We had great leads and were not able to protect it on the backboard. Their offensive rebounds in the second half, it may be not that many but every one of them hurt us."

Wallace stuck with the lineup of Blackett, Nash, Sensley, Botez and Gibson.

"I wasn't about to break it down and become disorganized," Wallace said. "I didn't see anybody playing tired. ... I hope that doesn't happen too often, because we need to use our bench."

The Chanticleers, who played at UNC Greensboro on Tuesday, showed little effects of the trip to Honolulu in taking a 37-23 halftime lead.

Leasure hit three of five 3-point attempts for Coastal, which shot 62.5 percent from the field in the first half.

The Chanticleers kept the UH offense out of rhythm throughout the half by throwing a variety of defensive looks at the Rainbows, including a trapping zone-press.

"That first half was not us, turning the ball over, not hitting our shots, just playing real bad," Blackett said.

Hawaii, which turned the ball over nine times in Tuesday's season-opening win over Mississippi Valley State, had 11 turnovers by halftime last night.

The break didn't cost Coastal Carolina any momentum, as the Chanticleers scored the first six points of the second half to open a 20-point cushion at 43-23.

Coastal hit seven of its first eight shots of the half and took a 54-32 advantage on Leasure's fifth 3-pointer of the night. At that point, the Chanticleers were 8-for-10 from behind the line.

Hawaii then got back within striking distance with a remarkable 25-4 run.

The Rainbows sparked the crowd on Sensley's alley-oop dunk off a pass from Gibson, closing to 56-41 with 11:38 left.

Nash hit back-to-back 3-pointers, and two Blackett jumpers cut Coastal's lead to 56-51 at the 8:32 mark. Two free throws by Sensley brought UH to within one at 58-57.

"Once you start going and hit that first one, it takes the lid off the basket," Nash said. "When you're a shooter, you don't worry about misses, you just have to shoot."

Hawaii took its first lead since holding a 6-5 advantage early when Blackett made two free throws to put the 'Bows up 64-63 with 2:49 left. Nash later drained a 3-pointer from the left wing to give UH breathing room at 70-65.


Hawaii 72, Coastal Carolina 65

Chanticleers (0-4)

fg fga ft fta min reb a tp
Paelay 7 13 6 8 38 3 6 21
Reinders 5 5 0 0 36 4 1 10
Stevens 4 10 0 0 31 4 0 10
Nagel 1 2 0 0 31 4 1 2
Leasure 8 18 0 0 34 0 2 22
Green 0 1 0 0 6 1 2 0
Sonko 0 1 0 0 9 3 0 0
Ferguson 0 3 0 0 15 1 1 0
Team




2
Totals 25 53 6 8 200 22 13 65

Rainbow Warriors (2-0)

fg fga ft fta min reb a tp
Tatum 2 2 0 0 12 1 0 4
Nash 4 8 0 0 26 1 4 12
Blackett 9 12 4 4 35 8 3 22
Sensley 3 7 6 12 40 8 8 13
Botez 4 5 3 5 40 5 0 11
Gibson 3 9 0 0 34 0 4 7
Gipson 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 0
Groce 1 2 0 0 8 1 0 3
Team




1
Totals 26 45 13 21 200 25 19 72

Key -- fg: field goals; fga: field goals attempted; ft: free throws; fta: free throws attempted; min: minutes; reb: rebounds; a: assists; tp: total points.
Halftime -- CCU 37, Hawaii 23
3-point goals -- CCU 9-19 (Leasure 6-11, Stevens 2-5, Paelay 1-1, Ferguson 0-2), Hawaii 7-15 (Nash 4-6, Groce 1-2, Sensley 1-2, Gibson 1-5). Personal fouls -- CCU 18, Hawaii 9. Fouled out -- Nagel.
Steals -- CCU 7 (Paelay 4, Stevens 2, Leasure), Hawaii 8 (Gibson 5, Botez 2, Sensley). Blocked shots -- CCU 0, Hawaii 4 (Botez 3, Sensley). Turnovers -- CCU 15 (Paelay 3, Green 2, Leasure 2, Sonko 2, Stevens 2, Ferguson, Nagel, Reinders, team), Hawaii 15 (Tatum 4, Gibson 3, Groce 3, Sensley 2, Blackett, Botez, Gipson). Officials -- Range, Petersen, Cota. A -- 5,085.

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